New baby on the way...Where to live?
January 21, 2018 7:07 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I are expecting are first child but also relocating from out of state. We're having trouble deciding where to move.

Parents of metafilter please share your expertise. My partner and I are expecting our first child (yay!) however, we're also in the process of relocating back to our hometown. My question is this, does it make sense to live closer to where we work or closer to family in the event we need childcare?

I've heard being close to family makes the most sense and is a must but, I've also heard people say you should pick the area that works best for your needs rather than someone else's. The thought is that when your baby cries at 3am, it's you not your family that needs to wake up and take care of the baby.

That said, I'm not sure and would appreciate the thoughts of other parents.
posted by CosmicSeeker42 to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How big is Hometown? Are we talking an hour for the Grands to get to you if you live near work? Or 15 minutes? The other thing to consider is the school district and daycares- which area has better options? All things being equal, I’d pick closer to work. The Grands will likely not mind a little bit of a drive, especially if this is the first GKid.

My folks are not currently close, but even when they were, we only saw them once or twice a month. Who knows how involved your folks will want to be OR how involved you and your partner will WANT them to be. This internet stranger votes closer to work.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:17 PM on January 21, 2018 [5 favorites]

Closer to work, hands down. Every minute you drive in the commute is a minute you could spend with your kid or sleeping. Live closer to work.
posted by studioaudience at 7:20 PM on January 21, 2018 [14 favorites]

There is a big difference between having grandparents supplying daily childcare and having grandparents provide a monthly date night sitter.

What are your thoughts about going back to work? What are the grandparents' thoughts about providing childcare? What are your thoughts about grandparents providing childcare?

We can't answer these questions.
posted by k8t at 7:27 PM on January 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to provide more info: I'm totally going back to work. One, were a two income household and and two, I actually like working and can't imagine not working. As for care from the grandparents, I don't know how often we'd need care. If we lived closer more often but if we live further away we'd make it work another way.
posted by CosmicSeeker42 at 7:42 PM on January 21, 2018

Given your response, I would pick closer to your work. Going back and forth to work will be something you do daily while dropping the baby off or having the grandparents visit is likely to at most 2-3 times a week. The less time you spend commuting the more time you'll have for everything else.
posted by peacheater at 7:48 PM on January 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Close to work, unless the family is the every day childcare. Every 10 minutes not in traffic is huge.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:52 PM on January 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're not relying on them for regular child care, closer to work. A sense-making home>daycare>work route improves quality of life greatly.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:06 PM on January 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Closer to work, definitely. Protip: if you have an idea of the school district you want to be in / get into, try to use a daycare in that neighborhood as well. That's how your kiddo starts Kinder knowing half the class (as opposed to our situation, where we ended up in a different school district and kiddo didn't know a soul. So many things I would do differently).
posted by vignettist at 10:54 PM on January 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

I’d opt for closer to family, as long as work commute still stays reasonable. Your work location has more likelihood of changing in the future so I’m not sure I’d base your decisions on where you work now.

It also would depend on how helpful your family will be. Living near my mom is good because she is helpful - she likes to babysit and can help with a bunch of tasks. Living near my in-laws isn’t really useful since they don’t know what to do with kids and can barely manage to their own lives.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:53 PM on January 21, 2018

Closer to work! It's not just about the baby phase when your kid wakes up at 3am. When your baby is a bit older (say, toddler-ish), they will still sleep a lot, meaning there are not that many hours in a given day when they are awake and you can interact with them. Every minute you and your partner save commuting will be a minute you can spend with the kid while kid is not tired/cranky etc. This makes a huge difference in life quality.
posted by CompanionCube at 1:07 AM on January 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

Another reason to live closer to work is that if your baby gets sick at day care and needs to be picked up you'll have less time to freak out as you drive there.
posted by mareli at 5:19 AM on January 22, 2018

Closer to work for sure. Commute is a daily issue. The shorter the better.

When people talk about being close to family when they have kids, they mean close enough to reach with a not-crushing drive. You're already talking about being in the same town, right? That's plenty close, closer than most people get. You're good. Choose a house close to work, choose a daycare close to both, and you'll be golden.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:22 AM on January 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Closer to work is great, as it is a daily commute. Find daycare close, too, if you can, as nursing my baby on my lunch break was the best part of my first year as a parent.
posted by jillithd at 9:23 AM on January 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Which one has better schools? In the long run it's going to matter, and you don't want to have to move again if one has measurably higher quality schools.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:51 AM on January 22, 2018

You dont want a long commute, thought the definition of "long" varies by person.
posted by SemiSalt at 9:55 AM on January 22, 2018

We live 5 minutes from my parents-in-law, but about an hour from work for me, 30+ minutes for my wife. Between the two of us, we spend 15 hours a week, or 60 hours in an average month, commuting. While it's great being close to family, we go to work (most) work days, but we only see my wife's parents a few times a month.

We've really appreciated having family close when one of our two young'ns gets sick in the middle of the night and we need to scramble to make alternate plans and the grandparents are right there, but that's a rarity, not the norm. I'm bummed about getting home so late that I end up having dinner and getting the kids ready for bed, with no play time between getting home and dinner. Also, we get up much earlier than we would have to otherwise.

The other aspect is, how close are you to your family? Could being close be less fun at some point, or in some circumstances? Not all families are the same, so some distance could be appreciated for a range of reasons.

And I'm of the mind that proximity to good schools is less valuable evaluation when your child is not yet born, as much can change in the 4-6 years before they're in school. (Also, the difference in schools may not be that great, especially if you have more time to be more present parents.)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:36 AM on January 22, 2018

Work. Work work work a million times work, cut down on the commute as much a possible. Source: have 11 month old.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:41 AM on January 22, 2018

« Older Minsk, Belarus. Anyone been there? Tell me what...   |   How do I get better so I don't lose the love of my... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.